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Travel to Australia

Flying to Australia

Qantas (www.qantas.com) is Australia's flag carrier airline and operates routes between Australia and the UK, USA, China, Japan, Thailand, South Africa, Philippines, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Chile, Singapore and Canada.

A large number of international airlines offer flights to Australia, including British Airways (www.ba.com) and Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com).

The cheapest time of year to fly is generally in the window between the end of Easter and the beginning of July, which coincides with the onset of winter in Australia. Bear in mind that there is only a non-stop flight from London to Perth. For travelling to other destinations in Australia from Europe, your plane needs to stop somewhere en route – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Dubai are all commonly used.

Budget airlines such as Tigerair (www.tigerairways.com) offer flights to Australia from South East Asia.

Major airports in Australia are: Sydney Airport, Brisbane Airport, Cairns Airport, Perth Airport, , .

Flight times

To Brisbane: from London - 22 to 24 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 13 hours; New York - 22 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

To Melbourne: from London - 22 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles - 14 hours 30 minutes; New York - 23 hours (including stopover).

To Perth: from London - 19 hours 30 minutes (including stopover); New York - 25 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 22 hours (including stopover).

To Sydney: from London - 22 hours (including stopover); New York - 24 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 15 hours (non-stop).

Air passes

Visit Australia and New Zealand Pass: allows travel to more than 60 destinations in Australia and New Zealand on Qantas, LAN and affiliated airlines. Fares vary according to the number of zones covered (between one and four zones). Available through any oneworld airline (www.oneworld.com).

Departure tax

None.

Travelling to Australia by Rail

Driving to Australia

Getting to Australia by boat

Cruise liners dock at Sydney (www.sydneyports.com.au), Melbourne (www.portofmelbourne.com), Hobart (www.tasports.com.au), Perth (Port of Fremantle) (www.fremantleports.com.au), Adelaide (www.flindersports.com.au), Brisbane (www.portbris.com.au) and Darwin (www.darwinport.nt.gov.au).

It's often possible to arrange passage to Australia from the UK or other parts of Europe on cargo freighters, travelling via the Suez Canal. A journey of this type takes between 30 and 40 days. There are fairly low limits on the number of passengers that can be accommodated on a freighter – usually somewhere around 12 or 15. Meals are often taken with the ship officers, and passengers should (unsurprisingly) expect fewer leisure facilities than would be found on a standard cruise vessel. A good company to contact for further information on travelling by freighter is Strand Voyages in London (www.strandtravelltd.co.uk).

For those travellers already in Asia and looking to arrive by sea, spaces occasionally become available on freighters travelling from Singapore, Indonesia or Malaysia. These sailings are, however, infrequent and notoriously difficult to confirm in advance.

Water note

The season that draws the most cruise ships is the November to February period, which ties in with the Australian summer.

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